How To Detox Your Beauty Routine

Usually when people talk about "detoxing," they're referring to food and alcohol. It's something you do when your body needs a break from overindulgence and is craving green juices over frozen margaritas. But there are other things that need detox just as much as our stomachs do: Our skin, hair, and nails. So why should you detox your beauty routine in 2017?

"Our skin is the largest organ, it covers our muscles and tissues, and protects us from our environment," says Margo Marrone, homeopath and founder of The Organic Pharmacy. "Our skin absorbs a lot of what it comes into contact with which is why you need to be certain that your favorite skin care products don’t contain any nasty chemicals that our bodies could be absorbing straight into our blood stream. The less toxins we put in our body the healthier we will be."

Natural beauty isn't just some trendy thing that people started caring about in 2016 — it's an industry-wide shift, and something we could all benefit from paying a little bit more attention to. Here are five chemicals you should look out for on the backs of your bottles this year, and five all-natural brands that you can add to your beauty cabinet.

1. Parabens

Orchid Facial Oil, $28, Amazon

When it comes to the natural skin care movement, "paraben Free" has been one of the most buzz-worthy phrases. Parabens are a group of preservatives that help delay the growth of bacteria in products, which may sound like a good thing, but parabens have been said to also mimic estrogen hormones and are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Herbivore Botanical's whole line, including this moisturizing facial oil, is all-natural and non-toxic. Plus, it comes in really, really pretty bottles.

2. Formaldehyde

Double Rose Ultra Face Cream, $158, Amazon

You may recognize this chemical from what they use in Law and Order: SVU to preserve dead bodies. Not exactly something you want to be putting on your skin. It's a common preservative, germicide, fungicide, and disinfectant that can be found in a number of cosmetics including your face and body moisturizers and nail varnish, says Marrone. It has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, so it's better to stay away. The Organic Pharmacy is a great source for all natural, preservative-free products, like this rose-infused facial moisturizer.

3. Phthalates

Infusion Organique Buddha's Fig Rollerball, $17, Amazon

You'll find this common solvent in perfumes, nail polishes, and hair sprays, because keeps all of these products from getting too stiff. But according to Marrone, it's a hormone disrupting chemical that may be linked to breast cancer, premature breast development in young girls and interference with reproductive development in male fetuses. Truthfully, Phthalates are pretty difficult to avoid, but Infusion Organique's line of all-natural perfumes are a good place to start.

4. Coal Tar

R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo, $24, Amazon

Charcoal may be great for your skin, but actual coal, on the other hand, is not. Coal tar is found in shampoos, soaps, hair dyes and lotions, and some studies have linked exposure to lung, bladder and kidney cancer, as well as skin tumors. Watch out for this particularly on hair dye labels, and synonyms include: Coal tar solution, tar, coal, carbo-cort, coal tar solution, coal tar solution USP, crude coal tar, estar, impervotar, KC 261, lavatar, picis carbonis, naphtha, high solvent naphtha, naphtha distillate, benzin B70 and petroleum benzin. R+Co's collection of products are formulated without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, or petroleum, and will give you healthy hair without any toxic ingredients.

5. Synthetic Anything

Tea Rose Lip Nourish, $25, lukbeautifood

Whether it's colors, fragrances or flavors, look for products that tout the all natural versions instead of anything fake. According to the Huffington Post, synthetic colors often come from petroleum or coal tar sources, and are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. They've already been banned in the EU, but TBD on how long they'll stick around in the US. This lip nourish, like all of Luk Beautifood's products, is all natural and free of any harsh or damaging ingredients.